|Photo Courtesy of Debra Courtney|
“This they said to try (test) Him, which they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. However, when they persisted with their questions, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:6-7AMP.
I have never heard of Jesus throwing stones at a woman to make her feel better.
Sons of Adam and daughters of Eve throw stones. Stones come in different forms (i.e. lies, cold shoulders, deceit, evil eye, physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse etc.) Our calling is not to throw judgment upon others, but to identify with them.
The Pharisees found out that they were in the same boat the woman was in. I believe that when Jesus bent down and wrote in the dirt is that he possibly wrote down their sins. And as the accusers peeped over to see what he was writing, the stones dropped to the ground.
Jesus was around the temple teaching. It wasn’t until after they made their case against her that he bent down to write in the dirt. The very thing they were formed out of. Remember, man was formed out of the dust, woman was not.
Especially after being Christian for a time we begin to separate ourselves from "sinners." They have too many issues that bring us down. "Who really wants to go there again?", we say to ourselves. Back to the bondage(s) and the curse(s) of heaviness that sin carries. We know this is exactly what the enemy wants us not to do. He does not want us to engage in the lives of others in order to share with them God's Amazing Grace. He prefers we keep our distance.
But we forget that it was our own "failure to measure up" (i.e. sin) that brought us to Jesus in the first place. I have to remind myself and want to remind myself to identify with the sins of others, simply because it reminds me of hellish life and environment I came from (grew up in). God is no respecter of persons. By judging her they were could mask their own insecurities and feed their pride. God hates pride. However, it happens so subtly, sometimes we don’t even realize it is happening.
We need to remember that Jesus left us in this world for a very good reason. The good news of the Gospel is our message. God loves me just the way I am. But he loves me too much to leave me alone in my pride.
It is not my place to judge anyone. As I observe the "sin" in others, I will find myself judging the behavior, but wisdom and grace lead me to leave the judging of the soul to the Creator of that soul. It isn't my job to do God's job.
It’s ironic that I write this in regards to a lesson I learned from watching the reaction of my pet dog Dot-z. She didn’t like any form of criticizing, heated debates, loud talking, any sort of discourse at all! She would actually get up and leave the room. At first we (my husband and myself) didn’t notice it as much, but later on during the 17 years she lived with us, it was apparent this was her way of letting us know of her disapproval of our heated issues and wanted no part of listening to us or being in the same room with us. She could sense the atmosphere of the room change from harmony to discourse. The same atmosphere that was present when the Pharisees had presented the woman to Jesus.
Over the last 5 years of her life we became more attentive of how we would relate to each other if there happened to be a disagreement so as not to upset her. As a result of Dot-z attitude and reaction, I began to re-evaluate the way I would react to challenges. I started to look at them more as opportunities rather than challenges. To analyze and ask myself what would Jesus do? That was when I actually discovered what Jesus meant...”he or she without sin cast the first stone.” WOW! What a self-realization about myself.
I have thrown stones all my life. I felt like stone throwing was what I needed in the world to survive. Because of emotional and verbal abused as a young child growing up this was the only environment I knew. I carried this “stone throwing” in to my adulthood. This to me seemed to be a normal environment. Besides isn’t this the way people work out their frustrations or dislikes about their spouse or other issues they are dealing with in their life and the world?
My stones had many, many names. I hurt a lot of people very badly with my stone throwing and some of my stone(s) actually killed a lot of relationship(s) which I am ashamed of. Especially one in particular. I am in the process of learning to just drop the stones, Debra, just drop the stones! When I do, I feel as forgiven and liberated as the woman that was brought before Jesus.
I don’t know why I paralleled the woman caught in the act of adultery in the Bible to the way my pet would walk out of the room due to an atmosphere that was unbecoming towards another human being (my spouse) or others. After all the words in the sand could be my sins just as well as the Pharisees.
I believe it is to show me the character(s) of God and that He requires me to strive and live daily to obtain them.
How does God react when we mess up? Well if I have learned anything, he is not in the stone throwing business.